Suspect in California Jewish protester’s demise cooperating with police By Reuters

© Reuters. Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff speaks subsequent to Ventura County Chief Medical Examiner Chris R. Younger throughout a press convention relating to the current demise of a pro-Israeli protester that occurred within the metropolis of Thousand Oaks on 11/05/23, throughout simultane

By Brad Brooks

(Reuters) – A suspect within the demise of a Jewish man who fell and hit his head throughout twin pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests in California had referred to as 911 to report the autumn and waited on the scene and answered investigators’ questions, authorities stated on Tuesday.

Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff stated at a press convention that the unnamed particular person, the one suspect to this point, has not been arrested. Investigators are searching for video and images from the general public to assist them be taught what brought about Paul Kessler, 69, to fall and hit his head throughout Sunday protests in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles (65 km) west of Los Angeles.

“What precisely transpired previous to Mr. Kessler falling backward is not crystal clear proper now,” Fryhoff stated.

Kessler’s demise has been dominated a murder by health workers, with the reason for demise listed as blunt power trauma to his head. Officers emphasised {that a} demise being dominated a murder implies that one other particular person was concerned, however doesn’t point out if something prison came about.

Authorities haven’t dominated out that different individuals have been concerned.

Kessler was aware when taken to the hospital and spoke with investigators whereas there, the sheriff stated. He declined to say what Kessler informed officers.

Witnesses have supplied conflicting accounts about who was the aggressor within the incident, the sheriff stated. The health workers workplace stated Kessler had non-lethal accidents to the left aspect of his face, which might point out he was hit earlier than falling, however that it was not sure that was the case.

U.S. officers and civil rights teams have warned of elevated threats towards Jews, Muslims and Arab People following the Oct. 7 assault by the Palestinian militant group Hamas wherein Israel says 1,400 have been killed and greater than 240 taken hostage, and the following Israeli bombardment of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, the place Palestinian well being authorities say greater than 10,000 individuals have been killed.

Fryhoff stated his deputies have elevated patrols round mosques and synagogues due to Kessler’s demise.

Final month, an Illinois man was charged with hate crimes for stabbing a 6-year-old Muslim boy to demise and wounding his mom in an assault that officers stated focused them for his or her faith in a response to the struggle.

The Jewish Federation of Better Los Angeles recognized the sufferer at Sunday’s protest as a Jewish man and stated the incident was the fourth act of antisemitic violence within the Los Angeles space this 12 months, and the second since Oct. 7.

The twin protests in Thousand Oaks on Sunday drew about 100 individuals from either side, Fryhoff stated, and no different incidents have been reported. Regulation enforcement often drove by the scene of the protest previous to Kessler’s fall and noticed nothing that alarmed them, he added.

Rabbi Noah Farkas, the chief of the Jewish Federation of Better Los Angeles, citing conversations with native authorities officers, earlier stated a pro-Palestinian protester had struck the sufferer on the top with a megaphone. Fryhoff stated he couldn’t verify that came about, however that it was attainable.

The Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, expressed grief on Monday over what it referred to as a “tragic and surprising loss,” whereas additionally asking individuals to “chorus from leaping to conclusions” or “sensationalizing such a tragedy for political positive factors.”

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